How it started vs how it’s going memes have taken over the internet in the past few months. If you’ve been living under a rock (which I don’t blame you if you’ve been trying to), it’s pretty straightforward. It’s a comparison between how a situation started and what the current situation is. Some of them are serious, some are inspiring, and some are funny. Make no mistake, however, these NFL bold predictions are unfortunately not so hilarious. This is also a reminder that all these are based on a PPR scoring format and standard quarterback scoring.
How It Started vs How It’s Going: NFL Bold Predictions Recap
How It Started: Gardner Minshew Is a QB1
How It’s Going: Gardner Minshew Was QB26 (QB16 in PPG)
Not much went right at all for Gardner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020. That is unless getting the first overall pick in the 2021 draft was the plan all along. In that case, everything went right for the Jaguars. That might have been the case as they chose to start Jake Luton and Mike Glennon for almost half the season. This caused Minshew to plummet in the total points standings. He wasn’t very far off in terms of PPG and would have been contending for QB1 status had he started all season.
How It Started: DJ Chark Is a WR1
How It’s Going: DJ Chark Was WR49 (WR44 in PPG)
As mentioned with Minshew, the Jaguars took a step back this year and this affected everyone on the team (except James Robinson). This includes DJ Chark who put up a 73/1,008/8 line on 118 targets in 2019 only to follow that up with a 53/706/5 line on 93 targets this season. Some of this was due to playing through injury while some of it was due to the poor quarterback play. Either way, Chark was a bust this season for where he was being selected in fantasy drafts. He might become one of the trendiest bounce back players in fantasy football next season after the Jaguars upgrade the quarterback position.
How It Started: Christian McCaffrey Goes for 1,000/1,000… Again
How It’s Going: Christian McCaffrey Went for 225/149
Everything started off great as Christian McCaffrey put up 28.5 and 24.8 PPR points in the first two weeks. He was averaging over 100 total yards per game. That’s where it all went downhill. At the end of Week 2 McCaffrey came up gimpy on a touchdown run in the fourth quarter and it turned out to be a severe ankle injury that kept him out for the next six weeks. He returned in Week 9 and posted a massive 37.1-point game only to come up lame again and miss the rest of the season. It’s a dangerous game to extrapolate out but in his three games, McCaffrey had more PPR points per game than his record-setting 2019. Hopefully, he’s healthy next year and gets a chance to run it back.
Most yards after the catch since 2016
1. Christian McCaffrey – 2578
2. Alvin Kamara – 2462
3. Travis Kelce – 2,411 pic.twitter.com/SYfIQu2TZE
— PFF (@PFF) November 13, 2020
How It Started: Tyler Higbee Finishes TE3 or Better
How It’s Going: Tyler Higbee Finished TE18 (TE22 in PPG)
This one was rough. The first week started off rough for Tyler Higbee only catching three passes for 40 yards. He was still running plenty of routes though, so it seemed a rebound was imminent. It certainly came the following week as he popped off with five catches for 54 yards and three scores. Higbee would then proceed to only score two more touchdowns the entire season. He also only reached 54 yards in three other games all year and never had another game where he reached five receptions. It was a disastrous year for Higbee. The Los Angeles Rams were the toughest team to read this season as they entered the year looking likely to be one of the most pass-heavy teams and were the exact opposite. Just when that happened, it flipped again nearly halfway through the year. The moral of the story is to never trust Sean McVay.
How It Started: Jared Goff Goes for 5,000+/30+
How It’s Going: Jared Goff Went for 3,952/20
As mentioned with Higbee, Jared Goff was also a victim of Sean McVay. Also, like Higbee, Goff himself didn’t play well either. So much so that he went and got himself traded. Things looked so bright for Goff just a couple of years ago and he was coming off two straight 4,600-yard seasons. He took another step back this year and wasn’t justifying the huge contract he was given. He’ll now look for a fresh start as a member of the Detroit Lions starting in 2021.
Detroit is trading QB Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for two future first-round picks, a third-round pick, and QB Jared Goff, per @AdamSchefter
2020 PFF Grade/Rank:
🔹 Matthew Stafford – 82.0 (13th)
🔹 Jared Goff – 71.3 (21st) pic.twitter.com/3Tk0kcuWZW
— PFF (@PFF) January 31, 2021
How It Started: Zack Moss Outscores Devin Singletary
How It’s Going: Devin Singletary Outscored Zack Moss in Both PPG and Total
This one was one of the closer ones on this list. Zack Moss didn’t end up outscoring Devin Singletary, but he was only one point less per game when both were active. Singletary also was able to boost that number when Moss missed so it was much closer when both were active. There were plenty of times where Moss saw more work, especially in the passing game and inside the red zone. Singletary was the biggest fade of the season for me as whoever manned the position wasn’t in a great spot and even worse when it was split work. Moss, however, wasn’t able to edge past him although, in 2021, Moss (really neither) will be preferred once again unless they address the position in the draft or free agency.
How It Started: D.J. Moore Finishes WR4 or Better
How It’s Going: D.J. Moore Finished WR23 (WR25 in PPG)
Nobody saw coming just how involved Robby Anderson would be in this offense. Nobody also saw the Carolina Panthers turning Anderson into the possession receiver while turning D.J. Moore into the deep threat for most of the season. The idea behind Moore jumping into the elite tier came from combining an increase in quarterback play with natural talent progression would likely lead to an increase in receptions and natural touchdown regression. On the other hand, Anderson stole much more targets than expected and the touchdown regression didn’t come. Moore still had a great season in his own right as he had his second straight 1,100-yard season. Look for plenty more in 2021 and beyond.
Since 1992, we’ve had 16 WRs start the first 3 years of their career w/
▫️3000+ Rec Yards
After 2020, DJ Moore & Ridley join this list
— Marvin Elequin (@FF_MarvinE) January 26, 2021
How It Started: Austin Ekeler Finishes RB5 or Better
How It’s Going: Austin Ekeler Finished RB28 (RB11 in PPG)
Austin Ekeler was polarizing heading into 2020 and will likely be once again in 2021. On one hand, he was great in the games he stayed healthy. On the other hand, he wasn’t able to stay healthy which was a concern by many. There were plenty of encouraging signs in the games with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert though as he was heavily involved in the passing game. While he didn’t end up as a top-five option at the running back position in 2020, 2021 may turn out to be the year he’s able to return back to the elite tier of PPR running backs.
How It Started: Michael Gallup Outscores Amari Cooper
How It’s Going: Michael Gallup (WR39) < Amari Cooper (WR15)
When it comes down to it, both Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup finished behind where they were being drafted. However, Gallup came nowhere near passing Cooper as the alpha on the Dallas Cowboys which was the thought behind this bold prediction. Gallup was even further behind until a late-season surge. Before Dak Prescott went down early in the year, this Dallas offense, especially Prescott, Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb, looked like they were going to be league winners. Unfortunately, after the Prescott injury, this offense took a nosedive. Ultimately all Cowboys players aside from Lamb ended up being busts based on their preseason ADPs and Prescott can’t get back soon enough.
How It Started: Mike Gesicki Finishes TE5 or Better
How It’s Going: Mike Gesicki Finished TE7 (TE9 in PPG)
Saving the best for last, Mike Gesicki came the closest among anyone on this list of making a bold prediction come true. Gesicki was only 13 points away from finishing as the TE5 on the season. He was only 18 points away from finishing as the TE3 on the year. Gesicki set career highs in receptions (53), receiving yards (703), and touchdowns (6) in 2020. He might have been able to do even more and finish top-five had Ryan Fitzpatrick started all season. After Tua Tagovailoa took over, the Miami Dolphins were a much more conservative offense. There have been rumors that the Dolphins are interested in trying to acquire Deshaun Watson. If that were to happen, Gesicki could see his stock rise quicker than GameStop.
— Barstool Penn State (@PSUBarstool) January 27, 2021
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